NEW SCOTLAND, NEW YORK — A couple visiting the beautiful countryside outside Albany got a bigger taste of the wild than they would have liked. A bobcat viciously attacked a woman before her husband and the homeowner could come to her rescue. The husband was attacked as well before the men pinned down the wild animal and put it down with a close range shot.
“The wife was sitting outside on a few rocks playing with the family dog when she heard a hissing noise and turned around and there was a bobcat,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said to WRGB-TV.
State wildlife management showed up on the scene to take the dead cat to the lab for testing. There is some possibility it may have been sick because, as conservationists noted, attacks from bobcats are very rare.
As one wildlife pathologist said to WNYT, these sorts of attacks may be linked with rabies.
“I can recall several cases where people were working in their garages and they ran into rabid bobcats and they were attacked,” said retired wildlife pathologist Dr. Ward Stone.
Even out in relatively secluded areas, there is always a threat potentially lurking. Keeping your gun handy is just one way to stay safe this summer. Before the results come back as to whether or not this bobcat did indeed have rabies, let’s ensure that we’re always armed, always ready to handle whatever threat gets thrown at us — from Mother Nature and otherwise.
“A lot of farms abandoned,” Stone said. “A lot of woodlands have come back, there have been more habitat and more places for bobcats. And I think the population is higher now than it has been in the last hundred years or so,” he said.
Old time conservationists used to have bounties for hunting various predators in the woods to keep their populations in check. Through a mixture of trapping, hunting and other, predatory animals were kept in check to make sure they couldn’t be a nuissance to farmers and those living out in the country. With the removal of such programs, predators have no natural obstacle stopping their rapid expanse.
In many cases, wolves, coyotes, bobcats and even bears can get to unsustainable population levels. This means their interaction with mankind is made all the more likely. Add rabies to the mix, and it means that personal protection just took on a new flavor of importance.